TV presenter and man-about-town Toby Ménard has it all. But in the days after his father has a startling accident, Toby makes a series of terrible, wincing choices. As a result, he is fired from his job as an etiquette commentator and loses his superb condo, his beautiful girlfriend and his beloved BMW. Worse still, he must move back to the grey Montreal suburb of Dollard-des-Ormeaux and live in his parents’ basement.
With his silent BlackBerry and a sudden absence of friends or saviours, Toby feels he has reached the limits of misery and humiliation. But his father’s increasingly frightening behaviour is where the real trouble—and risk—lies. Who is this man? What can Toby do? Then, in a moment of misplaced gallantry, Toby encounters an unstable francophone mother who disappears and abandons her two-year-old son, Hugo, to his care. Trapped with a toddler and forced to deal with his father’s tragedies, Toby emerges from the basement bungalow of his life—muddy, broke, bruised, heartbroken—but, finally, a man.